Identifying biodiversity hotspots for threatened mammal species in Iran

Azita Farashi*, Mitra Shariati Najafabadi, Mahshid Hosseini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Conservation biology has much more attention for biodiversity hot spots than before. In order to recognize the hotspots for Iranian terrestrial mammal species that are listed in any red list, nationally or globally, ten Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have been applied. The SDMs evaluation results based on the TSS and AUC values showed that all ten models of habitat suitability perform significantly better than the random selection for all studied species. According to the results, biodiversity hotspots for threatened mammal species are located in north, west and central of Iran, along the Zagros and Alborz mountain range. Therefore, habitats for threatened mammal species have been limited to small parts of Iran (approximately 27% of the country). These areas are severely fragmented and only 57% of them have been announced protected by the current conservation system. The suggestion is that, as the sustainability of these habitats would strongly depend on maintaining dispersal corridors to facilitate the movement of animals among the habitat fragments, conservation efforts should focus on those hotspots which are not formally protected under conservation laws.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
JournalMammalian Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Conservation
  • Habitat
  • Model
  • Protected area
  • SDMs


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